Smallholder farming in Brazil: An overview for 2014

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April 2017
Paper author(s): 
Gabriel Paes Herrera
Reginaldo Brito da Costa
Paula Martin de Moraes
Dany Rafael Fonseca Mendes
Michel Constantino
Agricultural - Natural Resource Economics

The goal of this paper is to provide an update on smallholder farming in Brazil. Instead of using data from the last available Agricultural Census (2006), a database from the Ministry of Agrarian Development for 2014 was used. These data are extracted from a tax form called “Declaração de Aptidão ao Pronaf-DAP” (Declaration of Aptitude to Pronaf) that is mandatory for all farmers in Brazil and is used as a source of information to screen smallholders, also called “family farmers” in Brazil, applying for special subsidized public funds available to those in this category. Therefore, the DAP is a valuable source of information regarding this sector. The results show that family farming in Brazil continues to grow and is concentrated in the Northeastern region. The South and Southeast have the highest yields per hectare, up to seven times more than the Northeast. Most of the land is in the hands of a small group concentrated in the Northeast, while most of the income is in the hands of a small group concentrated in the South.


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